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Police chase near Wilmington follows incident at Cincinnati FBI office

 I-71 is shutdown at Wilmington because of police activity following an incident at the Cincinnati FBI office.
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I-71 is shutdown at Wilmington because of police activity following an incident at the Cincinnati FBI office.

An armed individual attempted to get inside the Cincinnati FBI office Thursday, prompting a police chase that led officers to Chester Township in Clinton County. A confrontation was unfolding, according to police and emergency management officials.

"Law enforcement has traded shots with a male suspect who is wearing a gray shirt and body armor," reports Clinton County EMA in a Facebook post.


The incident began around 9:15 a.m. Thursday when the FBI reported "an armed subject attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility" at the FBI Cincinnati Field Office. The agency says armed FBI agencies responded to an alarm. The suspect then fled northbound on I-71.

During an update at about 1:30 p.m., the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed there was still an active standoff situation. Lt. Nathan Dennis told media at a staging area near Caesar Creek Flea Market that "the situation is contained to a certain area" and "right now there is no public risk to anything outside of that area."

The area remains locked down for safety, Dennis said. He also elaborated more on the events leading up to the current situation.

"The suspect vehicle did fire shots during that pursuit. The vehicle then exited on State Route 73 and went east on State Route 73. They traveled east to Smith road; they went north on Smith Road almost over top of Interstate 71 where the vehicle came to a stop. Once the vehicle came to a stop, gunfire was exchanged between officers on scene and the suspect.

"At this time, no officers have been injured as a result of this," he continued. "The scene is still active and there's still an active standoff situation occurring at this time."

Dennis did not comment on the suspect other than to confirm he is male.

"As of right now, I can't positively identify the suspect or his injuries if there are any," he said.


Police shutdown I-71 and multiple roadways in Clinton County outside Wilmington, Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. The interstate was closed between Route 73 and US 68.

"Law Enforcement operations still underway in vicinity of Center & Smith Roads. LOCKDOWN still in effect for 1 mile radius of Center & Smith Roads. Please remain indoors and keep your doors locked," said Clinton County EMA at 12:30 p.m.


"The FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement partners are on scene near Wilmington, OH, trying to resolve this critical incident," says an FBI statement released at noon.

This story will be updated.
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Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.